Community Health Network is first in Indianapolis to offer single-dose radiation treatment alternative

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Community Health Network announced today that it is the first health system in Indianapolis to acquire the INTRABEAM® System, a new radiation platform that is designed to replace as many as six-and –a-half weeks of routine radiation therapy with a single 20 to 30 minute targeted radiation treatment.  This revolutionary system, which delivers a targeted, intraoperative radiation treatment directly to the tumor site after lumpectomy, was shown to be as effective as traditional radiation for certain women with early breast cancer.  Community recently acquired the INTRABEAM® System based on the positive TARGIT-A multi-center clinical trial results, which were published in prestigious journal, The Lancet.

“Over the past several decades, radical surgery for early breast cancer has been replaced by less invasive,  cosmetically more acceptable operations, which allow preservation of the breast, while still curing the patient’s cancer,” said S. Chace Lottich, M.D., breast surgical oncologist with Community Breast Care and the network’s principal investigator  for the IORT treatment.  “More recently, research has supported a similar shift with radiation therapy.  Now, radiation therapy can be given as a single treatment directly to the site of the cancer during breast surgery.  This approach not only eliminates the need for the traditional six weeks of outpatient treatments, but also avoids damage to the patient’s skin and surrounding tissues, with focus of the radiation directly on the cancer.  Community has embraced this new, state-of-the-art technology and looks forward to providing this procedure to patients with early stage breast cancer.”

Unlike whole breast radiation treatment, which is administered five times per week for as many as six-and- a-half weeks, the INTRABEAM® System provides patients with a targeted single-dose radiation treatment  delivered intraoperatively after removal of the tumor.  Before the surgeon closes the incision, the INTRABEAM® applicator tip is positioned in the area of the breast where the tumor was located. This ensures radiation delivery accuracy and minimizes geographical miss. The INTRABEAM® radiation is applied for 20 to 30 minutes, exposing the affected tissue in the tumor bed from the inside. The surgeon then removes the INTRABEAM applicator and closes the incision.

The INTRABEAM® system was the only radiotherapy device used in the TARGIT-A clinical trial, the largest randomized clinical trial conducted in the field of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) for the treatment of breast cancer.  The TARGIT-A trial was launched in 2000, enrolling 2,232 patients throughout 28 centers in nine countries.  With up to 10-year follow-up data, the study results demonstrate the equivalency of single-dose targeted IORT in comparison to traditional radiation therapy based on local recurrence.

Community Health Network is participating in a planned phase IV single arm trial, looking at outcomes in women with early-stage breast cancer undergoing breast conserving surgery with intraoperative radiation therapy.  This US-based study is a follow-up to the TARGIT-A international randomized study.

In addition to the convenience of a one-time treatment, the INTRABEAM® system has been shown to provide additional benefits compared to traditional radiation therapy.  These include less irritation of healthy breast tissue, minimized exposure to the chest cavity and underlying organs, and fewer skin reactions, such as redness, rashes and irritation.  There is no treatment delay for patients who must also undergo chemotherapy as part of the breast cancer treatment.

Currently, eligible candidates for the INTRABEAM® single-dose treatments include women who are 45 and older, with invasive breast cancer, a tumor less than 3.5 centimeters and no positive lymph nodes.

For more information on the INTRABEAM® system, visit www.meditec.zeiss.com/intrabeam.   For more information about the TARGIT-A clinical trial, please visit www.targit-research.org .

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